A vinca major supplement or periwinkle supplement is a traditional herbal remedy for many ailments. It's used to treat excessive menstrual flow, menstrual irregularities, urinary problems, and mouth sores and cankers. Vinca major supplement remedies have a long history of use in herbal medicine, but as with all herbal remedies, there are both pros and cons to using this treatment. Please consult your doctor before using this or any other herbal remedy to be sure it won't interact with your medications or worsen existing health conditions.
Periwinkle or Vinca Major Supplement
Vinca major, also known as periwinkle, is a large-leafed perennial native to Europe. Many people know periwinkle as a cheerful ground cover, beautifying the landscape with its pale lavender-blue flowers.
Uses of Vinca Major
Vinca major is known for its astringent, or drying qualities. Herbalists used it to treat any health condition with symptoms of excessive flow, from bleeding gums to heavy periods.
It's been used throughout history for the following conditions:
- Menstrual problems: Vinca major has a long history of treating menstrual difficulties ranging from heavy periods to bleeding in between periods. Please see a doctor first though if you're experiencing either symptom - changes in menstrual periods may be a signal of other medical problems. Once serious problems are ruled out, vinca major supplements may help.
- Diarrhea and Colitis: Herbalists may recommend a vinca major supplement to treat colitis, a painful inflammation of the colon, or diarrhea.
- Bleeding conditions: Bleeding gums or nose bleeds, especially frequent nose bleeds, may respond well to treatment with vinca major supplements.
- Canker sores: Herbalists have also used vinca major to battle canker sores, those annoying, painful mouth sores and blisters.
- Tinnitus: Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, plagues many people. Vinca major may improve this condition.
Controversial Uses of Vinca Major
Two modern applications of vinca major are in the treatment of diabetes and cancer. Both uses are highly controversial.
- Diabetes: The Journal of Ethnopharmacology reports in the September 2008 issue that experiments are underway in South Africa to study traditional and folkloric plants used to treat diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions. Vinca major is one of eleven traditional remedies examined in the study. Results are not yet available, but researchers are hoping to identify and isolate any pharmacological agents in vinca major and ten other plants so that they can use these agents to improve current diabetes treatments. Vinca has been used throughout Europe for centuries as a diabetic treatment, but few studies exist to demonstrate its efficacy in treating this serious condition. Do not rely solely upon a vinca major supplement if you have diabetes, but work with your doctor to learn proper diet and exercise to naturally manage blood sugar levels. Cinnamon may be a safer herbal remedy to use.
- Cancer: Another controversial use of vinca major is to treat cancer. Vinca major contains two powerful chemicals, vincristine and vinblastine. These compounds are used in chemotherapy treatments. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center provides more information on why taking a vinca major supplement for cancer treatment may be harmful.
- Glaucoma: There is also insufficient evidence to support the use of periwinkle or vinca major in the treatment of glaucoma. Patients undergoing treatment for glaucoma should continue with modern treatments unless given the green light to use herbs by their physician.
Taking Vinca Major
Herbalists recommend taking a vinca major supplement in the form of a tincture or tea. If taking vinca major, take it with meals or with food. It is absorbed better this way and is easier on the stomach. Discontinue use if stomach pains or gastrointestinal problems develop. These are the most frequently reported side effects of vinca major remedies.